If you're looking to combine the best assets of a computer and tablet, check out the Microsoft Surface Pro.
We know tech consumers are notoriously loyal. And these days, you could safely recommend any of a dozen leading companies. But for a certain (and sizable) segment, we think the Microsoft Surface Pro is worth consideration. Even if you've tried previous versions, you might still want to think about this device. We've found a few substantial improvements that make it even more of a contender.
Things to consider before buying a Microsoft Surface Pro
Once you get an idea of what this machine really is, you'll start to determine whether it's for you. We've identified a few points you might want to consider as you research the latest Microsoft Surface Pro.
You already know Microsoft has a legendary history in the personal computer industry. And you can expect the result of that experience to pay off in the new Microsoft Surface Pro. But there are a few points in the history of this storied tech firm that really stand out. Let's take a look at the advances that put Microsoft on the map.
- Origins - You probably know the name Bill Gates whether you've used a Microsoft product or not. And you might be familiar with Paul Allen, his partner in founding the company in 1975. The pair wanted to revolutionize an industry dominated by the typewriter's limited capabilities. They moved to Washington in 1979 to establish the brand. Less than a decade later, Gates would earn the distinct honor of becoming the youngest billionaire on earth.
- Best known for - There are several software and hardware products that have helped establish the brand. The company introduced MS DOS in the early 1980s to power the IBM Personal Computer. It later got into the gaming industry with the XBox. And of course it's known for the long line of Windows operating systems and related software.
Values - The company's mission has certainly changed in terms of scope since those early days. Back then, Gates and Allen wanted to create software primarily for one computer system. Now, of course, their company aims to fill virtually any personal computing need. But no matter how big the company is, common values are reflected in its vision statement. The company says it wants "to help individuals and businesses realize their full potential."
Who the Microsoft Surface Pro is perfect for
Pretty much anybody who uses a computer or tablet could find tons of uses for the Microsoft Surface Pro. But there is clearly a segment of that group this device is specifically geared toward. Basically, if you want a tablet that can become a highly functional computer, it's near perfect. A beautiful and user friendly detachable keyboard finishes the product perfectly. When it is put together, you have all the functionality of a top end laptop computer.
In fact, it outperforms many competitors in some key areas. Plus, Microsoft has developed a pen that are far more intuitive in the latest version. It all combines to create a really great product. Plenty of companies are producing lesser versions of both the tablet and laptop features. And there are products that rival the Microsoft Surface Pro in both arenas. But there really isn't a detachable product like this that can hit all of the high points it does. Let's take a look at some of the specifics that set this product apart.
Best uses for the Microsoft Surface Pro
The company claims this product can do just about anything. And it seems that Microsoft is right. Not only does it include all of the feature of previous models, it's also faster, more powerful and sleeker. There are some great new additions, too. You can use the Microsoft Surface Pro for any of your typical computing needs. For an everyday device, you will probably never need anything more.
But Microsoft also markets this computer as much more. For example, several updates and additions make it a much more professional mobile studio. You can take it anywhere and connect to the internet easier than ever. If you need to be productive but also remain mobile, check out this powerful device. The Microsoft Surface Pro truly can handle all of your tasks.
Important Features and Benefits of the Microsoft Surface Pro
We've been discussing this computer in general terms so far. When we take a look at the individual components, however, its true capabilities are obvious. A few of the notable features are detailed below.
At first glance, you might not notice much different in this body than that of previous models. But the latest Microsoft Surface Pro does offer some subtle improvements. It's somewhat more rounded in the corners. We feel this makes it a bit easier to grip and smoother in general.
There is also a major improvement to the kickstand that comes with this device. Since the detachable tablet doesn't stand up by itself, you'll need this to use it as a laptop. But the new one opens even wider for more accessibility. Those using their Microsoft Surface Pro as a mobile studio will probably appreciate this feature.
Aside from those design elements, much of the new version remains unchanged. That is not a bad thing, mind you. Features like speakers on the front and simple buttons make it a breeze to use. And the overall size, 12.3 inches, is bigger than many tablets. It gives you plenty of room to work without becoming too bulky to carry with you.
So it's pretty clear that this is a beautiful machine. But without some serious power underneath that design, you'd have an expensive paperweight. Luckily, Microsoft has only increased the capabilities of its latest Surface Pro. Performance is significantly higher in this model than in previous versions.
In fact, it is an industry leader for both performance and speed. Graphics are top notch, too. Plus, the pen you can purchase to go with it is the most responsive we've ever seen. It's even better than previous models by allowing you do write and draw using more precise pressure. That allows a more dynamic line, reflecting exactly what you meant to do.
There are certainly less costly options. Some, like the Samsung Galaxy Book, offer a much lower starting price. Several even come with included accessories like the all important keyboard. (The detachable keyboard is an option with the Microsoft Surface Pro.) But if you're looking for the top tech and fastest processing, you'll probably be disappointed.
3. Cool Capabilities
Microsoft has put a premium on portability and connectivity in its latest model. The newest version makes it much easier to take your work on the road. And when you get to your new destination, it's a breeze to pick up where you left off. Some of the less obvious features allow the device to run cooler and longer. Then there's the battery life. It is much longer than in previous models, even if some competitors beat it by a bit.
The company is not officially calling the updated Microsoft Surface Pro a new product. There are a lot of reasons that it could, though. It offers new material on the keyboard accessory. Plus, there are tons of smaller touches that just make this an easier and more rewarding device to use.
You can record in full 1080p high definition with both the rear and front facing cameras. Those cameras offer 8.0 and 5.0 megapixels, respectively. Security is also a top priority. Refined features make sure whatever you have locked away on your Microsoft Surface Pro remains private.
If Microsoft wanted to create an all purpose computer, they'd have to give it plenty of memory. They knew that in addition to processing speed, its users would need memory. Creating lots of multimedia files will take up a lot of room. And the Microsoft Surface Pro delivers.
Like most computers, you can choose the amount of memory that works for you. In its solid state drive, the Microsoft Surface Pro offers up to 1 terabyte. Models start at 128 gigabytes. You can also get them in either 256 or 512 GB SSD.
Here's where we get to mention one of our favorite improvements in the newest Microsoft Surface Pro. This thing got a serious boost in battery life. The company says its improved performance delivers 50 percent more battery life.
Tests show Wi-Fi web browsing will give you about 7 and a half hours of battery life. That's not as good as some competitors, to be sure. But battery life was one of our biggest concerns with the last model. The same testing shows that one will give you just over 6 hours on a charge.
This type of detachable all in one computer generally suffers from a short battery life. But if you don't expect to work a full day on a single charge, you'll be pleased. The multitude of other benefits and capabilities more than makes up for this though!
The people have spoken: Microsoft Surface Pro is a solid performer.
We wanted to make sure our results matched those of the average Microsoft Surface Pro user. After checking several reputable sources for reviews, we took note of what they liked -- and what they didn't. As we noted, this is not a perfect machine. But most customers seemed to agree it sure does pack a lot of features in a portable package.
If the Microsoft Surface Pro isn't for you, there are some worthy alternatives.
If you still aren't sold on the Microsoft Surface Pro, we've found a few alternatives that can keep up. Try these options for a similar feel with a few different amenities.
1. Asus C 302 Chromebook Flip
You can get a lot of the Microsoft Surface Pro features in this much less expensive option. Asus has really upped its game with the release of this Chromebook. If you demand top performance, it might not be up to your standards. But for the vast majority of users, it provides a great option as an all in one device. The C 302 offers its unique 360 degree hinged design. This allows you to position the screen (also used as a tablet) however you want it. If the Chromebook label makes you think it doesn't have much power or many features, think again. This is a top of the line device that makes a handy daily user for just about anybody.
2. Samsung Galaxy Book
If you're looking for the biggest competitor to the Microsoft Surface Pro, this is probably it. It's similarly equipped in a lot of ways. But there are certain aspects where the Surface edges it out. But if you can handle moderately decreased performance for several really cool features, consider the Samsung. First of all, it includes the keyboard. It also has a pretty nice pen with it, too. And the graphics are great. It pairs well with any other Samsung smartphone or another Galaxy Book. This computer is ultra portable and very intuitive. You can do almost anything imaginable on this machine. It is definitely worth consideration if you're in the market for a detachable device like the Microsoft Surface Pro.
3. HP Elixe X2
The HP Elite X2 might be the dark horse challenger to the reigning Microsoft Surface Pro. Of course, the company hasn't always been known for the most reliable computers. But this one really looks promising. And lots of reviews show it lives up to its own hype. It's got a 12 inch detachable touch screen. In many ways it could directly take on the Microsoft. The price also reaches nearly the same levels when similarly equipped, though. So there might be a bit of an economic benefit to picking the HP since some retailers offer deals. But if you get this one, it really should be because you prefer its layout. On paper, they appear to be quite similar, and potentially fierce competitors.
We wish you the best in your search for the perfect computer.
In a crowded industry, it can be a difficult choice. But we took a close look at an industry leader to find out why it continues to stand out. We learned that the Microsoft Surface Pro not only virtually invented its own segment, it continues to dominate it. It offers all the processing power almost any user could desire. And it's in a package nearly as portable as a typical tablet.
If you found our review helpful, share it with your friends. And leave a comment below to let us know what your favorite computer brand is. Find out even more about the Microsoft Surface Pro by clicking here.
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